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PALMS : Landmark Building to Become 'Megacenter'


The old Globe A-1 building has run a gamut of uses, from a noodle factory to a movie production site to its present function as a Rolls-Royce dealership.

But sometime in the next year or so, the two-story structure at Robertson and Venice boulevards will become that most modern of things--an "interactive entertainment and social megacenter."

West Los Angeles-based Recreation World plans to spend $8 million to turn the building into a 103,000-square-foot recreational center that will include video game arcades, a computer learning facility, ice and roller skating rinks, a miniature golf course, batting cages and a billiards room.

"We're taking some tried-and-true family entertainment and putting it under one roof," said Sheldon Krechman, chairman of the board of Recreation World, which designs, builds and manages recreation facilities worldwide. "We really need a safe, clean place in the city to recreate."

The project is awaiting approvals from the city transportation and building departments.

The recreation center is the first of eight such sports and entertainment centers Recreation World intends to open statewide in the next four years. According to Krechman, the center will bring 120 full- and part-time jobs to the local economy, with the nine-month construction expected to begin as early as September. He anticipates weekly crowds of 15,000 to 20,000 visitors. The next Recreation World entertainment center will likely be located in Long Beach, Krechman said.

Last week, in a separate development, Recreation World acquired the Hollywood-based Ice Chalets Inc. in a deal worth approximately $4.1 million. The acquisition gives Recreation World 14 ice-skating rinks nationwide, including the famous Wollman Rink in New York City's Central Park.

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